Southern Africa - Zambia & Victoria Falls (Chapter)

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    Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd. To make it easier for you to use, access to this PDF chapter is not digitally restricted. In return, we think its fair to ask you to use it for personal, non-commercial purposes only. In other words, please dont upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site, mass email it to everyone you know, or resell it. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying the above Do the right thing with our content.

    LusakaEasternZambiaGreatEastRoadChipataSouthLuangwa

    National ParkNorthLuangwa

    National ParkSouthernZambiaChirundu

    LowerZambeziValleySiavongaSinazongweChomaLochinvarNational

    ParkWesternZambiaUnderstand&SurvivalGuide

    COVERAGE INCLUDES:

    Zambia(PDF Chapter)Edition6thEdition,August2013Pages 69Page Range549601, 533-548 Useful LinksWant more guides?Head to our shop Trouble with your PDF?Trouble shoot here Need more help?HeadtoourFAQs Stay in touchContactushere

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  • Why Go?Taking its place alongside the Pyramids and the Serengeti, Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya the smoke that thunders) is one of Africas original blockbusters. And although Zim-babwe and Zambia share it, Victoria Falls is a place all of its own.

    As a magnet for tourists of all descriptions backpack-ers, tour groups, thrill seekers, families, honeymooners Vic Falls is one of the earths great spectacles. View it directly as a raging mile-long curtain of water, in all its glory, from a helicopter ride or peek precariously over its edge from Dev-ils Pools; the sheer power and force of the falls is something that simply does not disappoint.

    Whether youre here purely to take in the sight of a natu-ral wonder of the world, or for a serious hit of adrenaline via rafting or bungee jumping into the Zambezi, Victoria Falls is a place where youre sure to tick off numerous items from that bucket list.

    When to GoThere are two main reasons to go to Victoria Falls to view the falls and to experience the outdoor activities and each has its season.

    July to December is the season for white-water rafting, especially August for hardcore rapids.

    From February to June dont forget your raincoat as youll experience the falls at their full force.

    From July to September Youll get the best views of the falls, combined with lovely weather and all activities to keep you busy.

    Zambia . . . . . . . . . . . . 538Livingstone & Around . . . . . . . . . . 538Zimbabwe . . . . . . . . . .544Victoria Falls . . . . . . . 544

    Best Places to Eat Cafe Zambezi (p542) In Da Belly (p546) Olgas Italian Corner

    (p542) Mama Africa (p547)

    Best Places to Stay

    Victoria Falls Hotel (p545) Elephant Camp (p546) Jollyboys Backpackers

    (p539) Stanley Safari Lodge

    (p541)

    Victoria Falls

    Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd

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    Seventh Natural Wonder of the WorldVictoria Falls is the largest, most beautiful and most majestic waterfall on the planet, and is the Seventh Natural Wonder of the World as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A trip to Southern Africa would not be complete without visiting this unforgettable place.

    One million litres of water fall per sec-ond down a 108m drop along a 1.7km wide strip in the Zambezi Gorge; an awesome sight. Victoria Falls can be seen, heard, tast-

    ed and touched: it is a treat that few other places in the world can offer, a must see before you die spot.

    Victoria Falls is spectacular at any time of year, yet varies in the experiences it offers.

    2 ActivitiesWhile of course its the spectacular sight of Vic Falls that lures travellers to the region, the astonishing amount of activities to do here is what makes them hang around. White-water rafting, bungee jumping, tak-ing a chopper ride over the falls, walking with rhinos: Vic Falls is well and truly estab-

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    lished as one of the worlds premier adven-ture destinations.

    To get the best value out of your time here, look into packages which combine vari-ous adrenaline leaps, slides and swings for around US$125. Confirm any extra costs such as park or visa fees at the time of booking.

    Costs are fairly standard across the board and activities can be organised through ac-commodation providers and tour operators.

    AbseilingStrap on a helmet, grab a rope and spend the day rappelling down the 54m sheer-drop cliff face for US$40.

    BirdwatchingTwitchers will want to bring binoculars to check out 470 species of birds that inhabit the region, including Schalows turaco, the African finfoot and half-collared kingfisher. Spot them on foot in the parks or on a canoe trip along the Zambezi.

    Bungee Jumping & SwingsThe third-highest bungee in the world (111m), this famous jump is from atop the iconic Victoria Falls bridge. Its a long way down, but man, its a lot of fun. It costs US$125 per person.

    Otherwise theres the bridge swing where you jump feet first, and free fall for four seconds; youll end up swinging the right

    way up, not upside down. There are two main spots, one right off the Victoria Falls Bridge, and the other a bit further along the Batoka Gorge. Costs for single/tandem are US$125/195.

    Combine bungee with a bridge swing and bridge slide, and itll cost US$160.

    Canoeing & KayakingOn the Zambian side, take on the Zambezis raging rapids in an inflatable kayak on a full-day trip (US$155), or learn to eskimo roll by signing up for half-/one-/three-day courses for US$82/145/412.

    Otherwise there are peaceful canoe trips along the Upper Zambezi River on two-person inflatable canoes for US$125 or even more relaxed three-hour guided sunset trips for US$60 including wine and beer. Over-night jaunts cost US$200, with longer trips available.

    Cultural ActivitiesSpend an evening by a campfire drumming under the Southern African sky, which in-cludes a traditional meal, for US$25 for the hour. You can arrange to watch and partici-pate in traditional dance for US$40.

    FishingGrab a rod and cruise out to the Zambezi for the opportunity to reel in a mighty tiger fish, for around US$125 for a half day, and

    THE FALLS VIEWING SEASONThough spectacular at any time of year, the falls has a wet and dry season and each brings a distinct experience.

    When the river is higher and the falls fuller its the Wet, and when the river is lower and the falls arent smothered in spray its the Dry. Broadly speaking, you can expect the following conditions during the year:

    January to April The beginning of the rainy season sees the falls begin their transitional period from low to high water, which should give you decent views, combined with expe-riencing its famous spray.

    May to June Dont forget your raincoat, as youre gonna get drenched! While the falls will be hard to see through the mist, itll give you a true sense of its power as 500 mil-lion litres of water plummets over the edge. The mist during this time can be seen from 50kms away. If you want views, dont despair, this is the best time for aerial views with a chopper flight taking you up and over this incredible sight.

    July to October The most popular time to visit, as the mist dissipates to unveil the best views and photography options from directly across the falls, while the volume main-tains its rage to give you an idea of its sheer force.

    November to January The least popular time to visit, as temperatures rise and the falls are at their lowest flow. But theyre still impressive nevertheless, as the curtain of water divides into sections. The advantage of this time of year is youre able to swim right up to the edge of Devils Pool on the Zambian side.

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